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  1. 1. © Crown copyright material is produced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and Queens Printer for Scotland. Warehousing and storage A guide to health and safety © Crown copyright material is produced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and Queens Printer for Scotland.
  2. 2. Warehousing and storage A guide to health and safety
  3. 3. © Crown copyright 2007First published 1992 Second edition 2007 ISBN 978 0 7176 6225 8 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Applications for reproduction should be made in writing to: Licensing Division, Her Majestys Stationery Office, St Clements House, 2-16 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BQ or by e-mail to hmsolicensing@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance as illustrating good practice.
  4. 4. Contents Introduction 1 General health, safety and welfare 3 Health and safety management 5 Managing the workforce 7 Occupational health 10 Environment and welfare 17 Slips and trips 24 Electrical safety 28 Accidents and emergencies 33 Materials handling 37 Manual handling 39 Mechanical handling 44 Vehicles in and around the warehouse 57 Work at height 66 Storage 71 Storage systems 73 Automated storage and retrieval systems 85 Temperature-controlled storage 90 Storage of packaged dangerous substances 97 Appendix 1 Warehousing Health and Safety Forum membership 107 Appendix 2 Transport hazard diamonds 107 Appendix 3 Common types of truck 108 References 109 Further reading 112 Index 115 Further information 122
  5. 5. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyIntroduction 1 This guidance is the second edition of a book that main causes, which will probably be listed in this book, thiswas first published in 1992. It is for people who have guidance will help you to identify what action you need tomanagement, supervisory or other health and safety interests take to reduce injuries and ill health.in warehouses and storage facilities. It will also be of value toemployees and their health and safety representatives. 7 Success is more readily achieved with full involvement of the workforce and trade union/employee safety representatives2 It is intended as an aid to health and safety when identifying both the problems and the practical solutions.management, to help reduce the numbers of injuries andcases of occupational ill health. The priorities3 Although most of the information in this book will apply toprocesses in a range of premises, some warehouses may find 8 The Forum and HSE have identified certain priorityparts less relevant to their business (eg temperature-controlled topics requiring attention within the storage and warehousingstorage), whereas specialist warehouses may find they will industry. They are all covered in this book and include:require additional sources of information (eg on storage ofdangerous substances). However, most of the chapters will ■ manual handling/musculoskeletal disorders;be relevant to warehouses and storage facilities of all sizes. ■ slips and trips;References, further reading and useful websites are listed at ■ vehicles in and around the warehouse; andthe back of this book. ■ work at height.4 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has written 9 This book also contains useful guidance on otherthis second edition in liaison with the Warehousing Health hazards found in warehouses, such as storage systems,and Safety Forum. The Forum is a joint committee with mechanical handling and electrical safety. It also providesrepresentation from trade associations, trade unions and information on the working environment and how to dealemployer organisations. with accidents and emergencies.The challenge The meaning of reasonably practicable5 The Warehousing Health and Safety Forum and HSE 10 Throughout this book there are some references to doingencourage all those who manage or work in warehouses what is reasonably practicable to comply with the law.to work towards the governments injury reduction andoccupational ill health targets for UK workplaces. 11 This means that you have to take action to control the health and safety risks in your workplace except where the6 If you run a warehouse you can reduce your health and cost (in terms of time and effort as well as money) of doingsafety risks, and your costs, by concentrating health and so is grossly disproportionate to the reduction in the risk.safety efforts on the main causes of injury and occupational You can work this out for yourself, or you can simply applyill health at your premises. Once you have identified the accepted good practice.
  6. 6. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety
  7. 7. General health, safety and welfare
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  9. 9. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyHealth and safety management 12 Warehousing and storage cover a wide range of Over-3-day absenceactivities that can result in various hazards and risks. 16 The manual handling of loads is the main cause ofEffective health and safety management involves you, the reported over-3-day injuries. As well as being the primeemployer, looking at the risks that arise in the workplace and cause of major injuries, slips and trips are also a significantthen putting sensible health and safety measures in place cause of over-3-day injuries. See Figure 2.to control them. By doing this you can protect your mostvaluable asset, your employees, as well as members of thepublic from harm. You will also help protect your premises, Health and safety policygoods, equipment and reputation. 17 A health and safety policy statement is a starting point13 Accidents, injuries and ill health are reported to the to managing health and safety in the workplace. It sets outhealth and safety enforcing authorities under the Reporting of how health and safety will be managed in your organisationInjuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations - it shows who does what, and when and how they do it.1995 (RIDDOR). Paragraphs 332-337 give more information If you have five or more employees, you will need to have aon RIDDOR reporting requirements. written health and safety policy statement.The main cause of injuries in warehousing Managing health and safetyMajor injuries 18 Warehousing is a complex industry that can expose14 Around a quarter of major injuries (broken bones, injuries workers to a multitude of risks; health and safety should berequiring hospitalisation for more than 24 hours etc) in the proactively managed just like any other part of the business.warehousing industry are caused by workers slipping ortripping. In the past, a slip or trip accident may not have 19 The Management of Health and Safety at Workbeen viewed as seriously as an accident involving a fork-lift Regulations 1999 1 require employers to put in placetruck. However, it is clear from the pattern of major injuries appropriate health and safety arrangements. This meansthat workers who slip or trip are sustaining serious injuries having an effective health and safety managementfrom the fall or from impact with objects or structures. system. The complexity of this system should reflect the organisations activities.15 Manual handling, being hit by moving or falling objectsand falls from height also cause a significant number ofmajor injuries. See Figure 1.Figure 1 Causes of major injuries in storage and Figure 2 Causes of over-3-day absence injuries in storagewarehousing (2005/06) and warehousing (2005/06) Key: Slip or trip Manual handling Falls from height Hit by moving, falling object Hit by moving vehicle Hit something fixed or stationary Other kinds of accident
  10. 10. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety20 Steps to successful health and safety management 28 If you employ five or more people you must keep ainclude: record of the significant findings of your assessment. The record should be fit for purpose - paperwork is a means■ identifying the key health and safety priorities within to an end rather than an end in itself. Examples of risk a business; assessments are published on the risk pages of HSEs■ concentrating efforts on these priorities; website; these help you identify what is expected in practice.■ assessing the risks to employees and others;■ eliminating risks where possible. Where risks cant be 29 Many risks in a warehouse may already be well eliminated, they should be reduced to an acceptable controlled, eg the correct industrial trucks may be used level; and the drivers correctly trained, but you should also■ using safe systems of work; consider other issues such as supervision, monitoring and■ providing the workforce with adequate information maintenance. and training;■ involving the workforce and health and safety 30 Workers should be actively involved in the risk representatives in decision making on health and assessment process. safety issues; and■ regularly reviewing performance. Investigating accidents and incidents 31 Investigating any accidents that occur will help you21 Successful health and safety management HSG652 gives identify further actions that you need to take. The outcomemore information on health and safety management systems. of an investigation can also help with a review of risk assessments.Risk assessment22 The first step in managing health and safety is to 32 Sometimes it is obvious what action needs to be taken.identify the priorities - ie to carry out a risk assessment. Sometimes accidents/incidents can be complex and need toThis book will help as it covers the recognised main hazards be more thoroughly investigated, eg by looking at systemsin warehouses. It is also important to consider additional of work. The procedure in Checklist 1 can be used tohazards specific to a site that may also need attention. investigate accidents and incidents.23 Risk assessment is an important step in protecting your 33 Investigating accidents and incidents: A workbookworkers and your business, as well as complying with the for employers, unions, safety representatives and safetylaw. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter - the professionals HSG2454 gives more information on accidentones with the potential to cause real harm. You are legally investigation.required to assess the risk in your workplace so that you canput in place a plan to control them.24 A risk assessment is simply a careful examination ofwhat in your work could cause harm to people, so that you Checklist 1:can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions Investigating accidents and incidentsor should do more to prevent harm. Workers and othershave a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure Check what happened:to take reasonable control measures. find out about the circumstances leading up to the accident/incident;25 The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but identify the hazards that contributed to theyou are required to protect people so far as is reasonably accident/incident, eg:practicable. - plant, equipment, tools or substances in use: - work environment (such as floor surface,26 When thinking about your risk assessment, remember: lighting, temperature); - the way the work is organised (who is doing■ a hazard is anything that may cause harm, such as what and when); and chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, an open - training and skills of those involved. drawer etc;■ the risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could Prevent the accident/incident happening again: be harmed by these and other hazards, together with an identify what has already been done to minimise indication of how serious the harm could be. the risk; decide on additional precautions required to27 Risk assessment can be broken down into five steps:3 prevent similar accidents/incidents; ensure the additional precautions areStep 1 identify the hazards; implemented; andStep 2 decide who might be harmed and how; review the new precautions to ensure they remainStep 3 evaluate the risks and decide on precautions; effective.Step 4 record your findings and implement them; and Step 5 review your risk assessment and update if Keep records of any investigations you carry out. necessary.
  11. 11. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyManaging the workforce 34 The workforce is a valuable asset and your workers are Refresher trainingdirectly involved in the day-to-day running of your business. 40 Employee competence can decline if skills are not usedEffective management of the workforce is vital to good health regularly (eg emergency procedures or where an employeeand safety management. deputises for another). Training therefore needs to be repeated periodically to ensure continued competence.Selecting workers35 Before selecting someone for a job, you should identifyif the job has any special demands. You should thenensure that the person applying for the job can meet thesedemands. Also consider what arrangements can be put in Checklist 2: Training programmeplace to accommodate a workers requirements. Consider the following when preparing a typical training programme:Training Organisation36 All employees should have basic training in health and Will training be on or off the job? safety. All warehouse workers should have adequate training Who will do the training? (Will they be competent?) in the hazards associated with their work and within the Who will supervise the training? (Will they be warehouse, along with the precautions to take. For example, competent?) all operators of work equipment, including vehicles, should How will the trainees competence be assessed? be suitably trained in the hazards of the equipment they use What will the trainee be competent in at the end and the precautions that apply as well as safe operation. of the training? What records will be kept? 37 Managers and supervisors also require suitable training Who will keep the records? and should be competent for their role. Basic instruction38 Consider any specific legal requirements for job training, For each task, prepare a list of all the points trainingeg requirements for first-aiders (see paragraphs 323-331) or should cover, eg:for fork-lift truck drivers (see paragraphs 444-452). the method of work; the equipment or substance used;39 You can obtain information and advice on training from: how the equipment or substance works and what it does;■ the supplier of the material, substance or equipment; any dangers that are associated with its use,■ training centres or colleges of further education; including accidental spillage;■ trade associations; any safety precautions needed, and how they■ trade unions; protect the user;■ HSE; how to clean equipment safely;■ local authority environmental health departments; what to do if equipment seems faulty; and■ professional bodies (eg the Institution of Occupational what personal protective equipment to wear. Safety and Health);■ voluntary bodies (eg the Royal Society for the Prevention Supervised working of Accidents, the British Safety Council); Make sure the supervisor is competent for the■ skills councils such as Skills for Logistics. training task. Set the trainee to work under close supervision. Ensure the supervisor has the time and knowledge to supervise effectively. Ensure the supervisor watches closely to see that dangerous practices do not develop.
  12. 12. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetySpecific groups of workers 48 See A guide for new and expectant mothers who work INDG3735 for further information.Young people41 In addition to an employers general duty to assess the Agency workershealth and safety risks, there are particular responsibilities 49 Employment agencies and warehouse operators whotowards young people. These are: hire from agencies have a shared duty to protect the health and safety of agency workers. They should co-operate■ to assess risk to all young people under 18 years of age, and co-ordinate with each other to ensure that the risks to before they start work; agency workers are adequately managed.■ to ensure the risk assessment takes into account inexperience, and lack of awareness of existing or 50 Where agency workers are used, you should consider potential risks; them within your risk assessments. Take into account■ to introduce control measures to eliminate or minimise their lack of experience and familiarity with the work. The the risk, so far as is reasonably practicable. same health and safety standards that apply to permanent employees should also apply to agency workers.42 There are specific risks that you have to consider withina risk assessment for young people, these include risks to 51 An employers heath and safety duties towards agencyhealth from extreme cold or heat, noise, or vibration. Young staff cannot be passed to another party by civil contracts.people should not be employed for work that is beyond their Employment agencies and warehouse employers shouldphysical or psychological capacity. ensure that there is a clear understanding of who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the health43 You must let the parents/guardians of any students (and and safety of agency staff; it is recommended that thisemployees) below the minimum school leaving age know the agreement is recorded in writing.key findings of the risk assessment and the control measurestaken before young people start work or work experience. 52 You can find more information on agency workers onSee the Young people at work section of the HSE website the HSE website and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)for more information. Business Link website (see Further information).Pregnant and breastfeeding workers Workers who do not have English as44 When you are undertaking risk assessments, consider their first languageany specific risks to women of childbearing age who 53 The warehousing industry employs many workers whocould become pregnant, along with any risks to new and do not have English as their first language. You shouldexpectant mothers. This is a requirement of the Management ensure that there are suitable methods in place to clearlyof Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. communicate training and instructions to these groups of employees, as well as adequate supervision arrangements.45 Employees do not have to inform their employer thatthey are pregnant or breastfeeding, but it is important (for Contractorstheir own and their childs health and safety) to provide their 54 If contractors are working on site, eg carrying outemployer with written notification as early as possible. racking maintenance or doing roof repairs, it is not sufficient to assume that they are competent and working safely.46 When you receive written notification that one of youremployees is pregnant or is breastfeeding, you must carry 55 Contractors competence and experience should beout a specific risk assessment. Take steps to ensure that established before contracting them and once they are onthey are not exposed to any significant risks. Some of the site, make sure that they are in fact working to a safe systemmore common risks you should consider are; of work. You should also make sure that the activities carried out by the contractor will not endanger other employees, eg■ lifting/carrying heavy loads; an engineer servicing a conveyor could remove a guard for■ standing or sitting for long lengths of time; access and not replace it, or an electrician working at height■ work-related stress; could drop a tool onto workers below.■ workstations and posture;■ long working hours; and 56 See Working together: Guidance on health and safety■ excessively noisy workplaces. for contractors and suppliers INDG2686 for more information.47 Where the risk assessment identifies risks, temporarilyadjust the working conditions and/or hours of work. If it is Involving employees health and safetynot reasonable to do so, or would not avoid the risk, then: representatives■ offer suitable alternative work (at the same rate of pay) if 57 Workers are the people who know the most about the available, or, if that is not feasible; jobs they do. Therefore, it makes sense that they should play■ suspend the individual from work on paid leave for as an active part in developing safe, practical systems of work. long as necessary to protect the health and safety of the That is why there is a legal duty to consult with workers individual and their child. and/or their representatives.
  13. 13. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety58 There is evidence that points to the advantages ofinvolving workers in health and safety risk management.By introducing worker involvement, you will be making asignificant contribution to:■ developing a positive health and safety culture;■ reducing accidents and ill health and their associated costs;■ meeting customer demands and maintaining credibility; and■ complying with legal requirements.59 In short, workplaces where workers are involved intaking decisions about health and safety are safer andhealthier workplaces.60 To encourage effective worker involvement, you shouldmake sure that your health and safety policy statementspecifies that everyone has a positive role to play. It shouldgive a clear commitment by senior management to activelyinvolve the workforce - including part-time and agencyworkers - as part of a developing health and safety culture.61 Where there is a recognised trade union, you mustconsult with the safety representatives elected by the tradeunion. Trade union safety representatives are an importantsource of health and safety knowledge and should beactively engaged in any scheme to build worker involvement.They can play a key role in motivating workers to participate.Their trade union training as safety representatives andaccess to independent advice on health and safety mattersmean that they can add value to your health and safetymanagement.62 See also Consulting employees on health and safety: Aguide to the law INDG232.7Employees responsibilities63 Employees also have health and safety responsibilitiesfor themselves and colleagues. They must:■ work in accordance with the training and instruction given by their employer;■ report situations they believe to be unsafe; and■ not do anything that could endanger themselves or other people.
  14. 14. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyOccupational health 64 In 2005/06 there were 24 million working days lost Managing occupational healthdue to workplace ill health in the UK. The most commoncauses were stress-related illness (10.5 million days) and 70 There are three broad issues to consider whenmusculoskeletal disorders (9.4 million days). These are also developing an effective occupational health managementthe main causes of occupational ill health within the storage programme. These are:and warehousing industry. ■ preventing and managing the risk;65 Occupational ill health costs: ■ rehabilitation; and ■ health promotion.■ employers, through the loss of experienced staff and reduced productivity of individuals; 71 There is a legal and moral responsibility on the employer■ society, where people leave work and go on to to do what is reasonably practicable to prevent work-related long-term incapacity benefits; and ill health. As well as complying with general duties under■ individual workers and their families, due to the the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, some more long-term effects of chronic health problems. specific legal duties are relevant to common health problems in the workplace, eg the Control of Substances Hazardous66 Occupational health can be more difficult to manage to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) deal with hazardousthan safety and as a result far more workers suffer from chemicals, dusts and fumes.work-related ill health than accidents. Usually the causes andconsequences of poor safety at work are immediate and are Preventing and managing the riskrelatively easy to deal with. Work-related causes of ill health 72 As with any health and safety issue, a hierarchy of controlcan be more difficult to spot. It can often take some time for measures should be followed. Where possible, removing thesymptoms to develop, so the connection between cause hazard is the best option. Reliance on individual protectionand effect is less obvious. through personal protective equipment (PPE) should normally be a last resort.67 For the most common occupational health problems,such as back pain, there may be other causes that have 73 Identifying work-related health risks may not benothing to do with work. Workers may also be unwilling straightforward, but there are a number of sources youto admit themselves that they have work-related health can use - see paragraphs 74-76. HSE has also producedproblems because of fears about their job or the stigma guidance on the main issues, some of this is availableattached to certain types of illness. through the HSE website.68 Knowledge about the most effective solutions Monitoring sickness absenceto work-related health problems can also be limited. 74 Attendance management has become a major issueSome of the larger businesses in the industry employ for many employers. Information obtained from more tightlyspecialist occupational health staff, usually with a medical managed attendance can be very useful in identifyingbackground. However, for most organisations, especially possible work-related health problems. If there are certainsmall businesses, access to reliable medical advice on jobs or parts of the workplace where absence is higher, thisoccupational health is very limited. may be an indication of a problem. High levels of back pain or upper-limb disorder (ULD) symptoms may be associated69 Improving occupational health management is not as with certain types of work. However, you may need todifficult as many people think. Businesses dont need to exercise some caution when analysing absence patterns,set up specialist departments or pay for expensive medical and remember that some personal information is protectedadvisors to control it on a day-to-day basis. The vast majority by data protection laws. Paragraphs 145-148 give moreof occupational ill health results from a few basic causes. information on managing sickness absence.These can be controlled by management and workersworking together to identify practical control measures that Health surveillanceare suitable for their workplace. 75 Where there is a clearly identifiable disease or condition linked directly to the work and there is a reliable way of monitoring to detect the condition, health surveillance might be necessary. Examples include hearing tests for people
  15. 15. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyworking where there is loud noise and a risk of damage Musculoskeletal disordersto hearing. Any health records collected through healthsurveillance must be kept confidential and workers must 83 Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as back painknow what surveillance is being done and why. and upper-limb disorders, are a significant problem for the industry. Paragraphs 348-353 in chapter Manual handlingListening to the workers give more information on the risks to muscles, joints,76 A lot of information can be gained from the workers tendons and other parts of the musculoskeletal system andthemselves, but remember that workers may be reluctant how these risks should be managed.to admit to health problems. However, there are waysof gathering their experience or collecting their opinionsthat can protect confidentiality and ensure a more open Display screen equipmentresponse. Trade union safety representatives are oftentrained in the use of techniques such as body mapping, 84 The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment)surveying with discomfort questionnaires, etc. Regulations 1992 apply to situations where staff use display equipment, such as a visual display unit (VDU), as aRehabilitation significant part of their normal work.77 Even if you are doing everything possible toprevent people being made ill by work, there will still be 85 The incorrect and excessive use of display screenoccasions when someone does become ill. The initial equipment can lead to upper-limb disorders and visualcause of their health problem may not be work-related discomfort. Employers have a duty to:but the consequences still need to be managed. It ispossible that someone might develop backache or a ■ assess and reduce risks;stress-related illness because of non-work-related factors, ■ ensure workstations meet minimum requirements;but if they work in a job that involves lifting or that is ■ plan work so there are breaks or changes of activity;very intensive, then there is a real chance that their work ■ provide eye tests on request; andcould aggravate the condition and turn it into something ■ provide health and safety training and information.far more serious. Failure to manage an episode of ill healthcould result in more permanent illness and the loss of a 86 Aches and pains can be avoided by a variety of simplevalued employee. steps, such as adjusting a chair and VDU equipment to find a comfortable position, using good keyboard and mouseHealth promotion technique, varying activities or taking breaks to avoid sitting78 Health in the workplace is a central part of the in the same position for long periods.governments public health policy. It is keen to see morebeing done to prevent work-related ill health, and to see 87 Further information can be found in The law on VDUs:the workplace being used as a vehicle for promoting An easy guide HSG90.8healthier lifestyles. 88 There is some equipment that is not covered by the79 Examples of initiatives that can benefit the employer as Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulationswell as the employees are: 1992, such as fork-lift truck mounted displays for stock management systems. The general requirement to carry out■ promoting healthy eating and offering healthy alternatives a risk assessment for this equipment still applies and you in the canteen; should consider the ergonomics of use as part of this risk■ helping staff to stop smoking; and assessment.■ educating staff about drinking and drug use as part of an overall policy on drugs and alcohol. Stress80 However, health promotion is not a substitute forprevention of work-related ill health. It may be attractive to 89 Work-related stress is a major cause of occupational illoffer it as a part of the overall health policy, but the primary health. It is not confined to one industry. Operatives, drivers,reason for having such a policy is to make sure that staff are supervisors and managers working within the warehousingnot being made ill, or existing conditions worsened, by the industry can all be at risk.work that they do. 90 HSE defines stress as the adverse reaction peopleSpecialist advice have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed81 Often the process of managing occupational health on them. Pressure is part of work and helps to keep usonly requires good communication between managers and motivated; however, excessive pressure can lead to stress,workers. There is not always a need to employ any specialist which undermines performance, is costly to employers andassistance or expensive experts. can make people ill.82 Expert advice does not always need to be of a Managing occupational stressmedical nature, eg an ergonomist will be able to advise on 91 Employers have a duty to manage occupational stressmusculoskeletal problems. just like any other health and safety risk. The physical and
  16. 16. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetypsychological impact on employees from work-related period of time. In addition to any arrangements you havestressors should be risk assessed. You should look for established to talk about stress on a regular basis, considerpressures at work that could cause high and long-lasting an annual survey.levels of stress, decide who might be harmed, and whetheryou are doing enough to prevent harm. 100 Despite the precautions taken, some employees may experience work-related stress. There should be adequate92 You should take reasonable steps to deal with those systems in place for supporting stressed and distressedpressures identified in your risk assessment. Reducing stress members of staff, along with arrangements for rehabilitation.in the workplace does not have to be an expensive process. 101 The HSE website gives detailed information on theThe Management Standards approach Stress Management Standards. See also Real solutions,93 The Management Standards approach, designed real people: A managers guide to tackling work-relatedby HSE, helps employers work in partnership with stress9 and Working together to reduce stress at work: Atheir employees and representatives to undertake risk guide for employees.10assessments for stress. Stress and order picking94 The Standards look at six key areas of work that, if 102 There can be potential hazards for occupational stressproperly managed, can help to reduce work-related stress: associated with this type of work. The following guidelines should help manage the risk of stress from order picking:■ demands: including issues like workload, shift patterns and the work environment; ■ Targets set for order picking should be achievable.■ control: how much influence the person has in the way Staff and their representatives should be involved in they do their work; setting targets.■ support: including the encouragement, sponsorship ■ Ideally, individual targets should be set that take and resources provided by the organisation, line account of individual differences that may have an management and colleagues; effect on the ability to achieve targets.■ relationships: including promoting positive working to ■ Targets should be clear and transparent to all workers avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour; and their personal roles in meeting the targets should■ role: whether people understand their role within the be communicated. Avoid ambiguous targets (ie the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that difference between a minimum acceptable target and they do not have conflicting roles; and the target to be achieved for the day should be made■ change: organisational change (large or small), the pace clear where applicable). of change and how it is managed and communicated ■ Feedback should be positive as well as negative within the organisation. and pickers should know if they/their team have met their target(s).95 Your risk assessment should start by identifying if there is ■ Staff surveys are a useful tool to help gathera problem. You can use existing information to see how your information on potential stressors. Results of stafforganisation shapes up. Sickness absence or staff turnover surveys should be communicated and acted upon,data could help, as could any surveys of your employees. where appropriate. ■ Electronic order picking has the potential to be used as96 The survey tool developed by HSE (available on the a monitoring system, not just a picking system. OrderHSE website) can also be used to give an indication of pickers should be clear as to the intended purpose andperformance against the Standards. Remember that where use of the system. If it is to be used for performanceexisting data or the HSE survey are used, employees and monitoring activities, then this should be done withtheir representatives should still be consulted to verify the staff representative involvement and made explicit.findings and assess what is happening locally. Order pickers should know exactly when they will be monitored and any potential ramifications.97 Each hazard should be evaluated and a decision made ■ Consider providing occupational health support,about who might be harmed and how. A good way to where appropriate.decide what needs to be done is to bring together groups ofabout six to ten employees as a focus group. Talking to aselection of employees from a specific work group will allow Shift workissues from the risk assessment to be explored in moredetail, as well as taking into account local challenges and 103 Shift work is common in the warehousing industry.possible solutions. Poorly designed shift-working arrangements and long working hours that do not balance the demands of work with98 Record the results of the risk assessment in an time for rest and recovery can result in fatigue, accidents,action plan to implement the solutions agreed with senior injuries and ill health.management, employees and their representatives. 104 Shift work is generally considered to be a continuous or99 Once you have agreed the action plan, monitor progress semi-continuous pattern of work where one employee takesand review any action taken to tackle stress. One way to the work over from another within a 24-hour period andmeasure progress is to use the survey tool again after a where some or all of the work activity takes places outside
  17. 17. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyof standard daytime working hours (7.00 am to 7.00 pm). Limit shifts to 12 hours including overtime, or up to eight This may include evening, night and early morning work, hours for night shifts and/or where the work is demanding, extended hours, weekend working, permanent and rotating monotonous, dangerous and/or safety critical. shifts, split shifts and overtime. Encourage workers to take regular breaks and allow some choice as to when they are taken. 105 There can be undesirable consequences for those Consider the needs of vulnerable workers, such as working shifts, particularly night and early morning shifts. young or ageing workers and new or expectant mothers. These include disruption of the internal body clock, sleeping Limit consecutive workdays to a maximum of five to difficulties and fatigue, which in turn can affect performance, seven days and restrict long shifts, night shifts and early increase the likelihood of errors and accidents at work and in morning shifts to two to three consecutive shifts. the long term, might affect health and well-being. Allow two nights full sleep when switching from day to night shifts and vice versa. 106 There is also evidence to suggest that shift workers have Build regular free weekends into the shift schedule. an increased risk of digestive and cardiovascular problems. 114 Follow good practice guidelines for the work environment:107 The irregular and often unsociable hours of shift workcan also cause problems at home, especially if family and Provide similar facilities as those available duringfriends are not sympathetic and do not appreciate the toll that daytime and allow shift workers time for training andshift work may have on someones health and well-being. development. Ensure temperature and lighting is appropriate andAssessing and managing the risks of shift work adjustable.108 You should include the risks associated with shift work Provide training and information on the risks of shiftin your risk assessments. Paragraphs 22-30 give more work and ensure supervisors and management caninformation on risk assessment. recognise problems. Consider increasing supervision during periods of low109 There are many different shift work schedules and each alertness.schedule has different features. This sheer diversity of work Control overtime, shift swapping and on-call duties andand workplaces means that there is no single optimal shift discourage workers from taking second jobs.system that suits everyone. However, there are a number of Set standards and allow time for communication at shiftkey risk factors in shift schedule design, which you should handovers.consider during risk assessment: Encourage interaction between workers and provide a means of contact for lone workers. workload; Encourage workers to tell their GPs that they are shift work activity; workers and provide free health assessments for night direction of shift rotation; workers. shift timing and duration; Ensure the workplace and surroundings are well lit, safe the number and length of breaks within a shift; and secure. rest periods between shifts; and the working environment. 115 You should manage the risks associated with shift work like any other health and safety issue. This includes:110 Site-specific risk factors and risks to people who arenot employees should also be considered. consulting with workers; monitoring the shift work arrangements; and 111 Certain groups may be more vulnerable than others. periodically reviewing risk assessments. These include young or ageing workers and new orexpectant mothers who may not cope so well with shift Working Time Regulationswork and may be more prone to fatigue. 116 The Working Time Regulations 1998 are also relevant to working patterns. The basic rights and protections that the112 Managing shift work: Health and safety guidance Regulations provide are:HSG256" gives more information on this subject. a limit of an average of 48 hours a week that a workerGood practice guidelines for shift design can be required to work (though workers can choose to113 Applying, where reasonably practicable, good practice work more if they want to);guidelines will help reduce the risks that workers are a limit of an average of eight hours work in 24 that nightexposed to by shift working: workers can be required to work; a right for night workers to receive free health Plan an appropriate and varied workload. assessments; Offer a choice of permanent or rotating shifts and try to a right to 11 hours rest a day; avoid permanent night shifts. a right to a day off each week; Rotate shifts every two to three days or every three to a right to an in-work rest break if the working day is four weeks, otherwise adopt forward rotating shifts. longer than six hours; and Avoid early morning starts and try to fit shift times in a right to four weeks paid leave per year. with availability of public transport.
  18. 18. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety117 Note that only some parts of these Regulations are 124 Further information can be found in Noise at work:enforced by HSE and local authorities - more information Guidance for employers on the Control of Noise at Workcan be found on the HSE website. Regulations 2005 INDG362.12Noise Control of substances hazardous to health118 Generally, noise is not a major issue in warehousing. 125 Using chemicals or other hazardous substances withinHowever, there can be sources within warehouses that can warehouses can put peoples health at risk. The Control ofgenerate noise levels that could cause hearing damage. You Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)should ensure that where there is a noisy environment, the require employers to control exposure to hazardousrisks to your employees hearing are managed. substances to prevent ill health. Effects from hazardous substances can range from mild eye irritation to chronic lung119 Sources of noise in warehouses can include: mechanical disease or, on occasion, death.handling equipment, automated systems, conveyors, radios,compactors and equipment within plant rooms (including Hazardous substances and their effectsrefrigeration equipment). 126 Hazardous substances include:120 Whether you have a noise problem or not will depend ■ substances used directly in work activities (eg adhesives,on how loud the noise is and how long people are exposed battery acid, pest control, paints, cleaning agents);to it. As a simple guide, you will probably need to do ■ substances generated during work activities (eg fumessomething about the noise if any of the following apply to from industrial trucks or spilled products);parts of your warehouse: ■ naturally occurring substances (eg dust in certain concentrations); and■ Is the noise intrusive - as on a busy street, or in a ■ biological agents such as bacteria and other crowded restaurant - for most of the working day? microorganisms.■ Do employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart - for at 127 Effects of hazardous substances include: least part of the day?■ Do employees use noisy powered tools or machinery ■ skin irritation or dermatitis as a result of skin contact; for more than half an hour each day? ■ asthma as a result of developing an allergy to■ Do employees work in a noisy environment, such as a substances used at work; refrigeration plant room? ■ loss of consciousness as a result of being overcome by■ Are there banging or crashing noises due to impacts? toxic fumes; ■ cancer, which may appear long after the exposure to121 Remember that noise can cause other problems the chemical that caused it; andsuch as disturbance, interference with communications ■ infection from bacteria and other microorganismsand stress. (biological agents).122 The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require Substances COSHH does not apply toemployers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety 128 COSHH applies to virtually all substances hazardous tofrom exposure to noise at work. These Regulations require health except:employers to: ■ asbestos (see paragraphs 208-215) and lead■ assess the risks to employees from noise at work; (paragraph 136), which have their own regulations;■ take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces ■ substances which are hazardous only because they: those risks; - are radioactive;■ provide employees with hearing protection if the noise - are at high pressure; exposure cannot be reduced enough by using other - are at extreme temperatures; or methods; - have explosive or flammable properties (other■ make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not regulations apply to these risks); and exceeded; ■ biological agents that are outside the employers■ provide employees with information, instruction and control, eg catching an infection from a work colleague. training; and■ carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to Hazardous situations health. 129 Examples of situations within a warehouse that might have a risk of exposure to hazardous substances include:123 The Regulations require employers to take specificaction at certain action values, which relate to the levels of ■ leaks from packages and containers;your employees exposure to noise averaged over a working ■ accidental spillage;day or week, and the maximum noise (peak sound pressure) ■ puncture of packages or containers, eg by the forks ofthat employees are exposed to in a working day. a lift truck;
  19. 19. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety■ subdividing substances or breaking down from bulk Lead storage;■ generating hazardous substances on site, eg exhaust 136 Compounds of lead may be stored or handled in a way fumes and accidental mixing of incompatible products that is subject to the Control of Lead at Work Regulations during storage; and 2002, eg breaking down from bulk. In these circumstances,■ an accidental leak of a refrigerant (paragraphs 698-705 you should carry out a risk assessment to determine whether give more information on this). exposure is significant and if further action is necessary to control the risk of exposure to lead. If in doubt, seek130 Remember to consider people involved in cleaning and specialist advice.maintenance tasks - high exposures can occur during thistype of work. Also consider certain groups of people whocould suffer more from exposure than others, eg expectant Vibrationmothers or individuals with a suppressed immune system. 137 Exposure to vibration at work can occur in two mainWhat the law requires ways:131 Employers have to protect employees and other peoplewho may be exposed to hazardous substances in the ■ hand-transmitted vibration (known as hand-armworkplace. The COSHH Regulations place specific duties vibration or HAV);on employers. ■ vibration transmitted through the seat or feet (known as whole-body vibration or WBV).132 There are eight steps that should be taken to complywith COSHH: 138 When carrying out your risk assessments, you should consider your employees exposure to vibration. This isStep 1 Assess the risks to health from hazardous not one of the most common causes of ill health within substances used in or created by workplace activities. the warehousing industry, but there are occasions whereStep 2 Decide what precautions are needed. You employees health can be put at risk from exposure to must not carry out work that could expose your vibration. When this is the case, you should control the risk. employees to hazardous substances without first considering the risks and the necessary Hand-arm vibration precautions, and what else you need to do to 139 Warehouse workers are not typically exposed to hand­ comply with COSHH. arm vibration. However, some ancillary workers within theStep 3 Prevent or adequately control exposure. You warehouse, such as workshop engineers, may be exposed should prevent your employees being exposed to when operating hand-held power tools such as workshop hazardous substances. Where preventing exposure equipment (eg impact drills or nail guns), high-pressure is not reasonably practicable, then you must water jets, or ice scarifiers. Exposure may result in a range adequately control it. of health effects collectively known as hand-arm vibrationStep 4 Ensure that control measures are used and syndrome (HAVS). The most well-known health effect is maintained properly, and that safety procedures vibration white finger, but other effects include damage to are followed. sensory nerves, muscles and joints in the hands and arms.Step 5 Monitor the exposure of employees to hazardous substances, where this is necessary. Whole-body vibrationStep 6 Carry out appropriate health surveillance where 140 Under certain circumstances, drivers of some mobile the assessment has shown this is necessary or machines (including industrial trucks) may be exposed where COSHH sets specific requirements. to whole-body vibration and shocks that are associatedStep 7 Prepare plans and procedures to deal with with back pain. Other work factors, such as posture and accidents, incidents and emergencies involving heavy lifting, are also known to contribute to back problems hazardous substances, where necessary. for drivers.Step 8 Ensure employees are properly informed, trained and supervised. You should provide your 141 High exposures to whole-body vibration could occur employees with suitable and sufficient information, where vehicles designed for smooth surfaces are driven on instruction and training. poor surfaces, eg when shunter vehicles or lift trucks with no wheel suspension or with solid tyres are used on a cracked133 If you have five or more employees, you must make and or uneven yard.keep a record of the main findings of your COSHH assessment. What the law requires134 The COSHH section of the HSE website gives further 142 If your employees are exposed to vibration, you will needinformation. See also COSHH essentials HSG193,13 and to decide if there is likely to be a significant risk. If there is aCOSHH: A brief guide to the Regulations INDG136.14 risk, you need to assess who is at risk and to what degree.135 Chapter Storage of packaged dangerous substancesgives more information on the storage of dangeroussubstances.
  20. 20. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety143 The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 ensuring that employees who have suffered ill health,require that employers: injury or disability are treated fairly, equally and consistently; and assess the vibration risk to employees; provision of leave and time off to aid return to work or decide if they are likely to be exposed above the daily to attend medical appointments. exposure action value (EAV), and if they are, introduce a programme of controls to eliminate risk or reduce 147 It is recommended that you develop these systems in exposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable. consultation with your employees, their trade unions or other Also provide health surveillance (regular health checks) representatives. For larger employers, these systems could to those employees who continue to be regularly be documented in a return-to-work policy and procedures. exposed above the action value or otherwise continue to be at risk; 148 HSE has some useful guidance on the management decide if they are likely to be exposed above the of sickness absence and retention of staff who may have daily exposure limit value (ELV) and, if they are, take developed a health problem. More information can be found immediate action to reduce their exposure below the on the HSE website. See also Managing sickness absence limit value; and return to work: An employers and managers guide provide information and training to employees on health HSG249,17 and Managing sickness absence and return to risks and the actions they are taking to control those work in small businesses INDG399.18 risks; consult trade union safety representatives or employee representatives about the risks and what they plan to do; keep a record of their risk assessments and control actions; keep health records for employees under health surveillance; review and update risk assessments regularly.144 Further information can be found in Control the risksfrom hand-arm vibration: Advice for employers on theControl of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 INDG17515and Control back-pain risks from whole-body vibration:Advice for employers on the Control of Vibration at WorkRegulations 2005 INDG242.16Managing sickness absence andreturn to work145 Long-term sickness absence represents a significantburden on both employers and employees. It involves arelatively small number of people but has a significant cost.For employers this includes sick pay, reduced productivityand unnecessary recruitment. For employees this includesreduced earnings, job loss for some and an increasedworkload for colleagues.146 You are encouraged to have systems in place to helpyour employees to return to work after a long-term sicknessabsence, including: a policy making a commitment to helping employees return to work; arrangements for recording sickness absence, as appropriate; keeping in contact with employees on sick leave and letting them know what is expected from them; arrangements for return-to-work interviews and return- to-work plans; supporting return to work, eg in the form of adjustments to the workplace or changes to systems or hours of work wherever possible and redeployment where necessary;
  21. 21. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyEnvironment and welfare 149 It is important to provide a safe and healthy environment taking account of the traffic passing over them. Floorsfor your employees and visitors, along with adequate welfare should not be overloaded.facilities. This should be the starting point for good health andsafety management within your warehouse. 157 Deep holes into which people may fall should be securely fenced or covered.Design and layout 158 Chapter Work at height gives information on mezzanine floors.150 Warehouses should be designed and laid out to allowfor the safe movement of goods, materials and people. Good 159 Storage areas, aisles and gangways should be clearlydesign and layout can help reduce accidents, including marked out on the floor. Gangways should be wide enoughthose involving vehicles and people slipping and tripping. to ensure that mechanical handling equipment can be easily manoeuvred.151 The movement of goods and materials involves theuse of a wide range of vehicles and accounts for a large 160 The surfaces of floors and traffic routes should be freeproportion of accidents in warehouses. It is important to from any hole, slope, or uneven or slippery surface which ishave a safe system of traffic management. This should likely to:include methods and procedures for arrival, reception,unloading, loading and movement of vehicles within the ■ cause a person to slip, trip or fall;premises. People and vehicles should be segregated as far ■ cause a person to drop or lose control of anythingas is reasonably practicable. being lifted or carried; ■ cause instability or loss of control of vehicles and/or152 Chapter Vehicles in and around the warehouse gives their loads.more information on workplace transport. 161 Slopes should not be steeper than necessary.153 When thinking about design and layout, consider the Moderate and steep slopes, and ramps used by peoplefollowing areas: with disabilities, should be provided with a secure handrail where necessary.■ storage areas, aisles and gangways;■ pedestrian traffic routes; 162 Floors and traffic routes play an important part in■ staircases and ramps; and managing the risk of slips and trips. See chapter Slips and■ emergency escape routes. trips for specific information.Workrooms - dimensions and space 163 Where a temporary obstruction is unavoidable and154 Sufficient floor area should be available to enable is likely to be a hazard, prevent access or take steps toworkers to move freely within a room. A minimum warn people or drivers of the obstruction, eg by usingspace of 11 m3 per person (based on a height of 3 m) is hazard cones.recommended, but this may need to be increased if a largeproportion of the room is taken up by furniture. 164 Where furniture or equipment is being moved within a workplace, it should if possible be moved in a singleFloors and traffic routes operation and should not be left in a place where it is likely155 Floors and traffic routes should be constructed and to be a hazard. Vehicles should not be parked where theydesigned to withstand the use to which they may be are likely to be a hazard.subjected, eg physical damage from lift trucks and wheeledequipment or corrosion from chemical substances. Fire safety156 Floors should also be capable of bearing the generaloverall load to which they may be subjected and any point 165 A fire occurring in a warehouse can have seriousloading from stock, either with or without pallet racking. implications for life and property. You should take steps toTraffic routes should have adequate strength and stability, avoid fires and to ensure peoples safety if a fire does start. 17
  22. 22. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety166 The local fire and rescue authority will enforce fire safety ■ arson, which is a significant risk, particularly ifin most premises, including warehouses. combustible rubbish is stored alongside the building, entry points to the building are not secure or there167 To meet the requirements of the fire safety legislation, is a reason to believe there is a risk from individualsyou are required to undertake a fire risk assessment to or groups;help you ensure that your fire safety procedures, fire ■ help for members of the public or people with specialprevention measures and fire precautions (plans, systems needs, such as those with a disability.and equipment) are all in place. The five steps of a fire riskassessment are: 169 The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Scottish Executive have published guidance19 to helpStep 1 identify fire hazards (sources of ignition, fuel and you meet the requirements of fire safety legislation. oxygen);Step 2 identify people at risk;Step 3 evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from General housekeeping risk (evaluate, remove or reduce fire hazards and evaluate, remove or reduce the risks to people); 170 Keep work areas, offices, mess rooms, storage areas,Step 4 record, plan, inform, instruct and train (record aisles and gangways, washing and toilet facilities clean and significant findings and action taken, prepare an tidy at all times. Poor housekeeping can significantly increase emergency plan, inform and instruct relevant people, the risk of other accidents, eg slips and trips. and provide fire safety training for your staff); andStep 5 review and revise your assessment as necessary. Workplace temperature168 You are advised to develop a long-term workable andeffective strategy to reduce hazards and the risk of a fire 171 The temperature in warehouse operations should providestarting. At its simplest, this means separating flammable reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing.and combustible materials from ignition sources. You needto consider: 172 Typically, the temperature should be at least 16 °C. Where the work involves severe physical effort, the■ housekeeping, eg preventing the accumulation of temperature should be at least 13 °C. However, these combustible materials, keeping waste material in temperatures may not ensure reasonable comfort. Other suitable containers before removal from the premises factors, such as air movement and relative humidity, should and developing a plan to manage risks that arise; also be considered. (These temperatures refer to readings■ storage of combustible materials. Ensure you have taken using an ordinary dry bulb thermometer, close to sufficient storage areas for your needs and ensure workstations, at working height and away from windows.) storage areas are adequately controlled and monitored;■ the storage, display and use of dangerous substances, 173 In warehouses, it may be impractical to maintain these including flammable liquids, gas cylinders, flammable temperatures because of specific storage temperature dusts, aerosols, fireworks and explosives; requirements, or because of the nature of the building (eg■ equipment and machinery. Ensure that it is correctly in buildings that have to be open to the outside). In these cleaned, maintained and used; cases, take all reasonable steps to achieve a temperature■ electrical equipment is a significant cause of accidental that is as close as possible to a comfortable level. fires in factories and warehouses. It should be installed and maintained in a safe manner by a competent 174 See also chapter Temperature-controlled storage. person, and subject to regular visual inspections and more periodic detailed portable appliance 175 If food or other products have to be kept at low testing (PAT). Incorrect use, congested ventilation or temperatures, before chilling the whole workplace consider positioning near combustible materials may all allow keeping only the product chilled. The aim is to chill the food the equipment to overheat; not the workplace, so consider:■ smoking as a potential for ignition sources;■ managing building work and alterations, since fires ■ enclosing or insulating the product; are more frequent when buildings are undergoing ■ pre-chilling the product; refurbishment or alteration; ■ keeping chilled areas as small as possible; or■ whether any part of the existing layout and construction ■ exposing the product to workplace temperatures as of the warehouse lends itself to easy paths through briefly as possible. which smoke and fire may spread - and what you can do to prevent it, eg false ceilings can be fire-stopped, 176 Where a reasonably comfortable temperature cannot be or unsealed holes in walls can be filled; achieved throughout your warehouse, provide local heating■ particular hazards in corridors and stairways used as or cooling (as appropriate). escape routes. Look for fire hazards, obstructions, blocked/locked fire exits; 177 There are no specific upper temperature limits.■ restricting the spread of fire and smoke, eg through However, the requirement for temperatures in the workplace the use of sprinkler systems, or roof vents to allow the to be reasonable applies. In extremely hot weather, fans and escape of smoke; increased ventilation may be used instead of local cooling.
  23. 23. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety178 Insulated duckboards or other floor coverings may ■ the type of fuel used (LPG is considered to be a cleanerbe provided where workers have to stand for long periods fuel); andon cold floors, unless special footwear is provided which ■ the condition of the engine (proper engine maintenanceprevents discomfort. Draughts should be excluded and self­ will reduce toxic emissions).closing doors installed, where such measures are practicableand would reduce discomfort. 189 It is also important that engines are properly maintained. Exhaust fumes may be significantly reduced by the use of filter179 Where workers are exposed to temperatures that do systems or catalytic converters. However, these systems arenot give reasonable comfort, provide suitable protective not a substitute for providing adequate ventilation.clothing and rest facilities. The provision of protectiveclothing should be considered as a last resort. 190 In some situations, eg where large numbers of industrial trucks powered by internal combustion engines are used,180 In parts of the workplace other than workrooms, such your risk assessment under the Control of Substancesas sanitary facilities or rest facilities, the temperature should Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) may indicate thebe reasonable. Changing rooms and shower rooms should need for action to reduce the risk. Paragraphs 132-133 givenot be cold. more information on COSHH assessments.181 Where people are required to work in normally 191 There may be occasions where monitoring for theunoccupied rooms such as storerooms, other than for short presence of gases such as carbon monoxide could beperiods, temporary heating may be provided (if necessary) helpful either for establishing if there is a problem or forto avoid discomfort. ensuring that the control measures are adequate.182 More information on heating and thermal comfort can 192 Industrial trucks powered by internal combustionbe found on the HSE website. engines of any type should not be used in any workspace where the lack of ventilation would lead to a build-up of hazardous fumes.Ventilation183 Most warehouses where loading/unloading doors are Windows, skylights and ventilatorsopen during the working day will not usually require anyspecial ventilation arrangements. 193 The means of opening windows, skylights etc should not give rise to injury and, when open, the position should184 However, specific ventilation requirements may be not be likely to expose anyone to a risk.necessary for the storage of some materials or wherecombustion equipment is used inside the warehouse. See 194 The bottom edge of opening windows should normallyparagraphs 187-192 for more information. be at least 800 mm above ground level, unless a suitable barrier is provided.185 A warehouse containing combustion equipment orplant, such as oil- or gas-fired heaters and lift trucks with 195 All windows and skylights should be designed andinternal combustion engines, will require air for the combustion constructed to enable them to be cleaned safely, eg withprocess and, if the plant or equipment is not flued, to dilute central pivots.hazardous combustion products to an acceptable level.Gas- and oil-fired equipment Weather-related conditions186 Fresh air requirements for gas- and oil-fired equipmentwill depend on how the equipment is flued. If ventilation is 196 You should take reasonable steps to control yourinadequate, carbon monoxide levels can increase rapidly, employees exposure to external weather, eg in the winter.increasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning fromunflued combustion equipment. Unflued space heaters are 197 Protect external doorways used by mechanical handlingnot recommended, use room-sealed appliances where equipment from adverse weather conditions, eg by hingedventilation is difficult. rubber doors with vision panels, plastic strip curtains.Internal combustion engines 198 Correctly designed and operated doorways can also187 Industrial trucks powered by internal combustion help manage workplace temperatures.engines (petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)) emithazardous exhaust gases and particulates. If these trucksare used inside your warehouse, you may need to provide Transparent or translucent doors,adequate ventilation to remove exhaust fumes. gates and walls188 Ventilation requirements will vary according to: 199 You may need to prevent pedestrians from walking into transparent materials which are not readily visible or■ the number of industrial trucks being used; apparent. Measures include the use of safety materials,■ the volume of the warehouse or operating area; appropriate markings, screens and barriers.
  24. 24. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safetyLighting 205 Lighting should be sufficient to enable people to move from place to place safely. Stairs should be well lit.200 Good lighting, whether natural or artificial, is vital inpromoting health and safety at work. It also has operational 206 Where the failure of artificial lighting might exposebenefits, for example making it easier to read labels. In all workers to danger, provide emergency lighting that isworking and access areas, sufficient lighting should be automatically triggered by a failure of the normal lightingprovided to enable work activities to be carried out safely, system.shielded from excessive heat or glare. The level and type oflighting depends on: 207 Further details can be found in Lighting at work HSG38.:■ the type of work being carried out; and■ the hazards associated with it. Asbestos management201 Recommended luminance for different areas of a 208 Asbestos is a term used for fibrous forms of severalwarehouse are given in Table 1. Average luminance is for the naturally occurring minerals. Breathing in asbestos fibres canwork area as a whole. Minimum measured luminance is the lead to asbestos-related diseases.minimum permitted at any position within the work area. Wherethe work or task is predominantly on one plane or vertical, the 209 The three main types of asbestos that have beenrecommended luminance is intended for that plane. commercially used are:202 In warehouses there can be considerable obstruction to crocidolite (blue asbestos);lighting, eg from racking. It is therefore important to arrange amosite (brown asbestos); andlighting to avoid shadows. chrysotile (white asbestos).203 Higher levels of luminance may be required where work 210 All forms are dangerous, with blue and brown asbestosrequires perception of fine detail. known to be more hazardous than white.204 The relationship between the lighting in the work area 211 Asbestos was used extensively as a building materialand adjacent areas is important; large differences in luminance in Great Britain from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s.may cause visual discomfort or affect safety in places where Although some of this material has been removed over thethere are frequent movements. Table 2 gives minimum ratios years, there are many thousands of tonnes of asbestos stillof luminance for adjacent areas. present in buildings.Figure 3 Good lighting
  25. 25. Warehousing and storage: A guide to health and safety212 At least 3500 people in Great Britain die each year from Legionellamesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer as a resultof past exposure to asbestos. There is a long delay between 216 Legionella is the bacteria that can cause legionnairesfirst exposure to asbestos and the start of disease. This disease. This bacteria can become a problem where watercan vary between 15 and 60 years and annual numbers of stands for long periods at lukewarm or warm temperaturesdeaths are predicted to go on rising into the next decade. in tanks or little-used pipes. It can affect people through inhalation of water droplets or mist.213 Employers are required to: 217 A water temperature range of 20 °C to 45 °C and the■ identify the presence of asbestos in buildings; presence of sludge, rust, algae and organic matter in water■ identify all elements of its condition that impact on its tanks also increase the risks. The following water systems potential to cause harm; can present a legionella risk:■ assess the risk that is presented, eg if it is likely to release fibres; and ■ air-conditioning systems;■ take action to safely manage the risk. ■ hot water systems with a volume of more than 300 litres of hot water;214 Asbestos is only dangerous when disturbed. If it is ■ cold water storage systems; andsafely managed and contained it does not present a health ■ evaporative condensers and cooling towers.hazard. Do not remove asbestos unnecessarily. Removing itcan be more dangerous than simply containing it. 218 Water systems that could harbour legionella bacteria must be assessed. The following precautions will reduce the215 There are several HSE publications available on the risk of outbreaks of legionella:subject of asbestos, listed on the asbestos section ofthe HSE website. You are advised to read these, or to ■ Hot and cold water supplies:seek professional assistance if your workers are at risk of - design cisterns and pipework to ensure that waterexposure to it. does not stand undisturbed for long periods; Table 1 Average luminance and minimum measured luminance for different areas of a warehouse Activity Examples of typical Average Minimum measured locations/type of work luminance (lux) luminance (lux) Movement of people, machines and vehicles Lorry park, corridors, 20 5 circulation routes Movement of people, machines and vehicles Loading bays 50 20 in hazardous areas. Rough work not requiring any perception of detail Work requiring limited perception of detail General warehouse 100 50 operations Work requiring perception of detail Offices 200 100 Table 2 Minimum ratios of luminance for adjacent areas Situations to which recommendations applies Examples of typical location Luminance Working area : Adjacent area Where each task is individually lit and the area Local lighting in an office 5 : 1 around the task is lit to a lower illuminance Where two working areas are adjacent, but one is lit Localised lighting in a 5 : 1 to a lower illuminance than the other works store Where two working areas are lit to different luminance An internal storage area 10 : 1 and are separated by a barrier, but there is frequent and a loading bay outside movement between them